Tuesday, March 31, 2020


So after having a little rain in the past week or so, it looks like that's it for at least a week.

Which means the first thing I  have to do this morning is water the garden, and in particular the plants we moved the other day.

Grrrr... I'm totally over watering the damn garden!

It's been pretty much 3 and a half months of having to water twice a day.

Though what rain we have had has made most of the lawns/parks etc quite green again.  It's nice to walk and see green for a change.

Stew, Brylee and I went for a short walk before dinner last night.

Our Fat Bottomed Girls (Cambridge) have started an 'Isolation Challenge', where we can all go on solo walks and have them recorded.  At the end of the Challenge there will be a draw for a Coffee Voucher Prize.  Now of course I don't drink coffee, but I am doing the Challenge as a motivator to get moving more.

ABOVE:  Shit I have put on some weight over summer!  You don't realise until you get into something that was loose just a few months ago.  I am blaming the heat... it curbs my walking cos it's just too hot for me.

And I'm a stress eater... and OMG has there been a lot to stress over lately!

But obviously I need to do something about it... I'm looking very rotund there!  *smiles*

Bring on WINTER PLEASE.  Lots of freezing cold days/nights so I can go walking ta.

ABOVE:  I THINK this tree is a Camellia?  Not sure, but it's come into bloom and is very pretty in the garden.    It will be quite exciting to see what the other trees/shrubs and fruit trees turn out to be!

There's two fruit trees around the back of the house that we are not sure of... Stew thinks one is a mandarin, it's a very old tree. Citrus trees with green fruit all look the same to me!

We have no feijoa trees here.  But it would be awesome to get a couple.  I will look into that once we are no longer locked down.  There is room for them down the 'dogs' side of the house. 

Today will probably be a bit of a repeat of yesterday.  
I've been incredibly lazy with the housework ... particularly those bloody windows.
I look at them and just go "NAH".
It's such a big job!  I don't even want to start on it, but I really should.

Once I get going it shouldn't take me longer than a week to get around the entire house?

ANYWAY.... enough waffling.  I shall get outta bed and do something constructive with my day... just not sure what yet.


1.20 pm:  The latest news bulletin is late today.  Expecting it at 1.30 ... so not long to go.
I hope the numbers are going down! 

In the meantime... I've been keeping busy this morning doing housework... and adding this to the tree:

ABOVE:  Hanging hearts.

STEVE UPDATE:  Happy to say there is no change with him!  He's still in some pain in his shoulder and chest, but it's manageable. He's spending most of his time on the couch just relaxing, though some baking has been done.  I understand he made a potato bake for their lunch today.

As for us, dinner tonight is left overs from last night with some sausages added to pad it out, with mashed potatoes with fresh herbs from our garden and grated cheese.  Sounds good eh?

I shall sign off for the day now as after dinner I will just be sitting watching TV and making more sections for my tree.

Monday, March 30, 2020


Today marks the 5th day of total lockdown in this country.

I had a comment yesterday (not published) from a person taking exception to one of my readers calling the Australian Prime Minister a moron.

And well... I have to agree.  He should have locked his country down far sooner.  

From what I've read, that country is only going into full lockdown TODAY.

Scott Morrison... went on holiday while his country burned, and now?  Dilly dallied and let the covid-19 virus spread far and wide much faster than it should have.  


And if you are a fan of the man... and feel the need to have a go at me... by all means do. 
But remember, I am entitled to MY OPINION, just like you are, and I don't actually have to publish your comments.

But I might, cos it could be an interesting debate! 

Moving on... Stew goes back to work today... in the lounge.  
Our new 'normal' for now.

 ABOVE:  I've got the washing in the sun room, cos we keep getting the odd shower.
It's such a handy room!

The potted seeds?  Still just dirt to see, so I won't show ya.  Bex suggested putting glad wrap over the tubs to help the seed germinate.
So I did.  They are like mini hot houses now.

ABOVE:  I've got more for the tree, but I'll stagger putting them on, cos otherwise that tree is going to be covered all over... in a week!

I have done some in crochet, and that takes much less time than knitting.  I am thinking of making more, smaller pom poms too.  For adding higher up the tree. 

So far my stash of wool is holding out!

ABOVE:  Our Fat Bottomed Girls group have been holding video chats... to keep us all connected, and help those that are in self isolation (ON THEIR OWN) interact with others. 

It's been very entertaining, lots of laughs.

Today I'm getting out of bed at my usual time, and doing my usual things.
I took two days 'off' and lazed in bed much, much longer than usual.
But I did get up and get dressed eventually!  Some people I know haven't even been bothering to get dressed all day.

So today?  I will do some housework, then I might just go and sew a few things.  Not sure what yet... 


ABOVE:  Too good not to share.  It's going around.

Got dinner on already, lamb shanks in the crock pot, with onions, carrots and potatoes.  Should be good.

Now I'm gunna go sew one of those additions to the tree...

11.30 am:  I'm thrilled to bits with how much attention my tree is getting!

Today while sewing the latest addition on, I had about 6 groups walk past and chat to me about it, and several cars drive by and wave, and one lady even slowed right down to a stop to wave.  So nice.

Then we had these two:

 ABOVE:  Mary and Dave (just met them), who live down a little side street 1 minute from our house. Mary took a photo for her Facebook group to see.

ABOVE: And then there was this lady and her husband... don't know where they live but they had been out walking for a while this morning, and the lady said when they went past the new addition wasn't on.

And she was so surprised on their way back to see how much I'd added.  lol
It is a big piece I must say.

ABOVE:  6th Addition done.

I'm now going to have a go at making some hearts to hang off a higher branch.  

KIWI CHRIS AND RHONDA:  Yep, it is totally a personal opinion.  And I am guilty of 'name calling'.  I shall try not to do it again, even though I still think his reaction to this health crisis has been somewhat slow.

ABOVE:  Well I think I have mastered making crocheted hearts, the first one I did is at the top.  I think I got better at them by the time I got to the blue one.

Marley likes them, she tried to nick the pink one and run off with it... but Brylee saved it.

I've been on the computer all day when not making hearts.  Or yakking on the phone, thanks Christina!

Stew came out of the 'office' for his lunch and afternoon tea, otherwise I've not seen him.  So working from home is certainly working for him.

It's 3.30 pm and I've just had a couple of scones for a late lunch.  Dinner is starting to smell amazing... it will be a late dinner here, as I didn't get it in the crock pot till around 10 am.

And... dinner was lovely, and I have enough left for another dinner tomorrow night.

End of the day... catch ya tomorrow.

Sunday, March 29, 2020


You know it't getting cooler when the windows start fogging up.
We woke up to heaps of condensation on the sun room windows... but not inside the house.

It won't be long before we will need to turn the DVS on in the house, and close the sunroom doors leading into the house at night.

 ABOVE:  Yes he's in his jamma pants!  He got a full TWO CUPS FULL of water off those windows.  

 ABOVE:  I got this really cool cushion off Trade Me for propping up my phone while I'm in bed.  It works a treat.

 ABOVE:  These two shrubs are doing really well on the far side of the pool.  Clearly pool water splashed on them does not hurt them.
In a couple of years they should have filled up that gap beside the boundary fence.

 ABOVE:  Coco has found all the sunny spots to bask in ... I know where she will be at any time of the day, just by looking in the sun spots.  So cute.

ABOVE:  The lawn got it's 3rd mow late yesterday afternoon.
It's still growing super fast!

Stew used the weed eater to do the edges for the first time too... so all up it took him 30 minutes to do the grass verge and our lawn.
Sure beats 4-5 hours at our Cambridge home.

Doesn't that big rock look FABULOUS?  Such a neat feature.

I'm just so happy we did this move.

We both LOVE this home.


12.30 pm: and all is well here. Steve has some pain but it's not too bad.

ABOVE: Brylee is doing my hair. Apparently I'm getting curls. *smiles*

ABOVE: 1.45 pm:  And I now have pretty curls.
And I've got cheese and bacon scones in the oven, to be followed by date/raisin and cinnamon scones.

Should be a lovely, very late lunch.

Just heard on the NEWS that New Zealand has sadly had it's first Covid-19 death, and our infection number is now 514.  A small drop in the increase in numbers from yesterday.

Well the rest of our day was quiet, as expected when you are in lock down and not going anywhere.

I cooked chicken steaks and left over macaroni cheese from last night for dinner tonight.
The mac cheese kinda curdled a bit... but we ate it anyway.  Waste not and all that.

Off to bed now... another day tomorrow.  

Saturday, March 28, 2020


So... have not heard from Steve since last night, when he was heading off to the ward.  
I expect to hear from him soon... hopefully the cardiologist has seen him and started to find out what's going on.

It's so scary not knowing.

Seems people are putting Teddy bears in their front windows so kids can 'hunt' for them when out walking in their neighbourhood.


ABOVE:  I'm doing my bit.

I hope clowns, rhinos, tele tubbies and beavers are allowed too?  *smiles*

ABOVE:  my current keyboard rest ... is a bit bumpy.
And it would not bugger off, no matter how much typing I did.
I normally use my lap as my 'desk' ... but not yesterday.

A BIT FUNNY: (last night)  I was crocheting a block for my tree and wanted to talk to me Mum, so I rang her and we had a yak.  When the call was over I went to start my crochet again... and do you think I could find the bloody crochet hook?

I looked everywhere around me chair, on the coffee table, down me bra... couldn't find it anywhere!


ABOVE:  Then I had an itch on my head... *sigh*.  FOUND IT.

Gosh... I've not worn make up in days and days!  Dunno what's up with that.


UPDATE ON STEVE: He's been seen by a few specialists, who are all scratching their heads.  They think he has inflammation around his heart, most likely being caused by the medications he's on for his other problems.

He will be having an ultrasound of his heart sometime today, then if they see inflammation, they will adjust his medication, give him something for the inflammation and SEND HIM HOME.  We hope.

12.30 pm:  And Steve is still waiting for an ultrasound.  He's bored shitless, he didn't go in there with anything to keep himself amused.  Only got his phone.  No even toiletries.  Poor bugger.

Meanwhile here, Stew and Brylee went for a double walk around the 'block' while I stitched more on the tree:

 ABOVE:  I'm really happy with the three additions I put on it today.  It's starting to look more 'covered' now.
I had HEAPS of people walk/cycle/drive by while I was out there today.  ALL of them were lovely and commented on my tree.

I even got car horn toots!  *smiles*

This has done exactly what I wanted, make people smile and help us get to know our neighbours. 

ABOVE:  My BREAKFAST. Yes... yes I had cake for breakfast.  Though as it was more like morning tea time when I had it, I am not feeling guilty at all. lol

1.41 pm:  And Steve is being discharged!  They can't work out what's going on with him, bu they think it's Perimyocarditis.  They think it's his body reacting to his medications, so they have given him MORE medications to counteract the reactions.

He has to go back for more Cat Scans etc over the next few weeks.

Ha!  As long as something else doesn't react! I think three times in the hospital is enough though Steve.  Behave now!

WHOOP! WHOOP!  I just bought my Lotto ticket online.  I'm not so technologically challenged as I thought.  Now we are set for however long this lock down lasts...  YA GOTTA BE IN TO WIN.

Steve is home.  ON a multitude of medications for his Pancolitis, Pancreatitis and NOW Perimyocarditis.  Far out.  When will his nightmare end?

ABOVE:  He's looking much better than yesterday!  So thankful he is home and perhaps .... finally getting better?

ABOVE:  We are having Beef Kransky Sausages for dinner... with roast veges and gravy.

Well the evening is winding down, and we are watching the TV till bedtime.  Everyone in my bubble is doing fine.

I hope you are doing well too peeps.  Stay safe, keep ya distance from others and BE KIND.

Friday, March 27, 2020


Right, the tree's next addition:

ABOVE:  So, now we have a POM POM.  And I had to look up on You Tube how to make a freakin' pom pom!  

While I was sewing it on, no less than 3 'groups' of people walked by (at a safe distance)..... and they ALL stopped and talked to me about the tree and what I was doing.

AND all said they would now be keeping an eye on future developments.  *smiles*

By GROUPS I mean there was a man on his own, a man and woman together, and a Mum and her little boy.     *We are allowed to go for walks, as long as we don't get close to other people*.

Also worth noting, THAT is as far as I intend to go off my property, unless I'm going to the supermarket, masked up and holding sanitiser soaked wipes.

Day 2 of our LOCK DOWN... who knows how many more?  30/40/50, no one knows.
It's a surreal feeling knowing you are literally stuck at home and can't go anywhere except a couple of places.

Stew was talking to someone on the phone yesterday from work.  Apparently one of his colleagues in Auckland was driving to the office to pick up case files, and was stopped by the Police!  

Because he didn't (as yet) have the necessary paperwork clearing him to go to the office, he was told to turn around and go back home!

Because where Stew works is deemed as providing an essential service, they will be issued with the appropriate paperwork soon I hope.

It's certainly a very different world we are living in right now!  

I wouldn't say I am scared, but I am unsettled by it all.  

I read this on a friend's blog last night:

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent virus threat and have therefore raised their threat level from "Miffed" to "Peeved."  Soon, though, level may be raised yet again to "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross."
The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.
The virus has been re-categorised from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance."  The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's Get the Bastard."  They don't have any other levels.  This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its alert level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate."  Two more escalation levels remain:  "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and  "The barbie is cancelled."  So far, no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

Yep.  Funny, but not.  Not enough is being done in some countries to stop the spread of this damn virus.

Today I have no set plans.  There's plenty to do around here... let's wait and see what I get up to.


So.  I ate a 2nd piece of my cake at around MIDNIGHT.  VERY. BAD. MOVE.

I woke at 4 am with stomach acid rising into my mouth.  I choked, struggled to breathe for over 3 hours!  It was horrific.
It has only ever happened 4 times in my life, and always after I've eaten too late in the evening.

I've got a burnt throat and feel like utter shit.
I'm exhausted and have a massive headache to boot.

Not happy with myself, I should have known better.

But that cake... so delicious!

But I think I'll give it a wide berth today.  
Might even fast till dinnertime to give myself time to get over that incident.

We have glorious, constant drizzle here today.  The lawn and gardens are getting a good soaking.

So's the knitting on the tree... but that's OK.  It won't hurt it.

I've got another piece ready to go on too.  And I've thought of what piece to do next, so I might just start on that today.

STEVE:  Has just been taken to A&E at the hospital.  More later.

ABOVE:  taken just now. (3.45 pm).
He started getting pain in his shoulder radiating down to his chest... the Doctor thought it might be a travelling blood clot?  So off to hospital Bex took him.

He's there till they can work out what the problem is. 
Bex and the boys had to stay in the car, drop him off at the A & E door and go home.

Scary.  He's hoping he doesn't have to stay there... cos Bex and the boys (and us) cannot visit him now.

8.55 pm and he's finally off for a Cat Scan!  Hoping it doesn't show any blood clots and he can go home.

How wrong can you be?  He does NOT have any blood clots.  What he has is an enlarged heart, showing signs of damage from ????
So, he's been admitted and will be seen by a cardiologist either tonight or tomorrow.

FUCK.  What else can go wrong for him?  This is the third damn thing.

I'm going.  I doubt I'll sleep much tonight, even though I'm knackered, been awake since 4 am this morning.

The worst thing for me in all of this is we can't even go up there and be with him.

Thursday, March 26, 2020


As of 11.59 pm last night, our country went into total lock down.

Everyone has to stay home, except essential service people... Medical personal, police, fire, ambulance, supermarket workers, pharmacies and so on.

Anyone who can work from home, is.

Stew is all set up:

ABOVE:  Our lounge is now his office.  He can close the doors and take calls, and work during the day.
He will probably stick to his usual routines, BUT...  I will get to have lunch with him in his lunch hour *smiles*.

ABOVE:  And we have a third section of knitting on the tree.  
While I was stitching it on a family walked by and the mum was intrigued with what I was doing.  So I explained what I was doing ...

ABOVE:  She thought it was very interesting, and wanted to take a photo... which of course I said was fine.
Again... mission accomplished ... lots of smiles.

Our neighbourhood watch group keeps in touch via Whatsapp... and yesterday I got messages from a couple of the ladies asking if I'd done that to the tree.  And one said she had stopped and had a good look at it, and she thought it was really neat.  How lovely.

So, our new 'normal' starts today.
Stew is off to work (*snort*) and I shall potter around the house.  Today I might make a start on cleaning windows.  Dammit, it's going to be a rather BIG job as every single window and door (with glass) has to be cleaned.

But, slow and steady and it will get done.

Lacy sure chose a good time to bugger off and get stranded up north.  


10.45 am:  And today I started my day with a walk on our treadmill.
Until it abruptly stopped on me!  And wouldn't go again.  Stew said it's happened to him too.  Grrrr.

No more little videos for a while, our internet is so slow now I can't get them to play.

It's kinda wet today, so I canned the windows and am re-organising my pantry.  I'm then going to sit and knit for a while.

12.36 pm:  Stew spoke to the IT expert from work and he said "When did you last reset your router?"

Ummm, never?

So we did that and our internet is up and running properly again. Stew can do his phone calls without it dropping off all the time.  Problem solved.

We do have Ultra Fast Fiber here, so we are set.

ABOVE:  It took two hours, but the pantry is now sorted out.  It's really comforting to see it well stocked in light of the lockdown.  
I tidied up the freezer yesterday too, so I know EXACTLY what we have, and don't  have.

ABOVE:  Sometimes being a 'collector' of baskets (among other things) is a blessing in disguise.  I now have a knitting basket.  *smiles*  The girls found it interesting... for like, 30 seconds.
Then they buggered off cos there was no food in it.

FOOD.... yeah!  I'm starving.  Almost Stew's lunch time too.  Hmmm... what to have?

Well we all had a sandwich and now Stew's back at work and Me?

ABOVE:  I dragged my computer over to the bench (so damn handy having it on a trolley), and I'm baking a LUMBERJACK cake.

It takes well over an hour to bake, so you will have to wait a while for the finished result.

This will be the first 'baking' I've done in this house.  I've done meat dishes of course, but not a cake.  I think I really live here now.  *smiles*

 ABOVE:  Well, after a bit of tinkering with timing, as my oven is a very hot oven, I got that cake done in just an hour.
And OMG!

It is the most moist, delicious cake I've ever made.  Positive of it.
I will post the recipe if anyone is interested.

It's got grated apple and dates in it, and a coconut and brown sugar coating on top.

It's like, crunchy on top and super soft and moist inside.  TO. DIE. FOR.

Brylee got tricked into tasting it, I lied about it having dates in it... cos she assured me she hated dates.

She LOVED IT.  Then I told her about the dates.  *snigger*

ABOVE:  Stew was very happy to be hand delivered afternoon tea.  In his office.  lol

This easy lumberjack cake is made with apples, dates and has a delicious coconut topping.


  • 2 large apples, grated
  • 1 cup dried or fresh dates, chopped
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 125g butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder 
  • 1 Tbsp icing sugar to serve
  • 60g butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1 cup shredded coconut (I used half coconut chips)


  1. Preheat oven to 180.C fanbake. Grease and line a 23cm round cake tin.
  2. Add apples, dates and baking soda to a bowl. Pour in boiling water, mix together and set aside while you make the batter. (10 mins)
  3. Melt butter in a large microwave proof bowl, pour in sugar and whisk together. Crack in the egg and a teaspoon of vanilla then mix again. 
  4. Add the apple and date mixture and sift in the flour and baking powder. Fold everything together until just combined. 
  5. Pour into prepared cake tin and bake for 55 minutes. (or until cake springs back when you press it)  ​36 minutes in my oven, fanbake 180 degree C
  6. Topping: Add all of the ingredients to a bowl and mix together. 
  7. Remove the cake from the oven and carefully spread the topping over the cake. Return to the oven and bake for another 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave the cake in the tin to cool, then turn out and place on a serving plate.  
  9. Dust the cake with icing sugar before serving. 
This cake is amazing as a dessert too, just warm it up and add yogurt, ice cream or cream.  YUM.

Well... when Stew got home from work (took him 4.3 seconds), he cooked dinner!
We had home made rissoles, mashed potatoes with onion, and a lovely lettuce salad.

And since then, we have watched TV.  And I knitted more for me tree.

Now... signing off for the day.